PaperCity Magazine

July/August 2019- Houston

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Page 75 of 83

74 Left: Andrew Brischler's Amnesia, 2017, at Jonathan Hopson Gallery. Above: Sample fare by Lovie Olivia and Preetika Rajgariah (aka Two Dykes and a Knife), who will stage a dinner party at Jonathan Hopson Gallery on Thursday, July 11. " It's hard to make a mural out of wind turbines and have people want to stare at it," says DUAL. The 30-something artist is among the most prominent players contributing to Houston's graffiti movement — and increasingly the walls of its restaurant/foodie scene — thanks to his cubistic murals, which back in the day were not always executed on permissioned surfaces. Now the talent who shows with Pablo Cardoza Gallery (the edgy dealer which also exhibits Texas wild-child painter Mark Flood) has an unexpected group as his latest patron: the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Its annual conference, Windpower 2019, came to town for the first time in a decade this past May, and the convention wanted to send a cool message about wind energy. Aided by Innovant PR, AWEA's public relations firm, three Houston Wind + Art initiatives were crafted. The first two — underwriting an extension of the wind-themed "Gust" installation by Cocolab at Discovery Green and donating booth space to Houston gallery Foto Relevance for artists addressing wind energy — ended in May. The third offered a gift to the city: Houston's newest work of street art, DUAL's Operation Happiness mural, which now has pride of place in Montrose watering hole Bar Boheme. Where better to reach millennials and Gen Z-ers about the promise of green energy than in this historic neighborhood of diversity and activism. Co-sponsored by AWEA and Innovant, the feel-good images and buoyant palette of DUAL's mural dialogue nicely with the tropical foliage and laid-back vibe of Boheme's lush patio. Bar owner Morgan Holleman donated the space, responding to a call from Houston Arts Alliance for a site for the wind-themed commission. The resulting jazzy aerosol painting eschews heavy environmental statements but still makes its point once the viewer picks out the imagery. "It's definitely more abstraction," DUAL says. "I've never seen myself as a social or political artist. You end up creating enemies. I just want people to look at it, and I want it to lighten up the day." The title was no accident: Besides being metaphoric, it refers to a particular place in Illinois' wind country where the diner Operation Happiness once served as a de facto town center for the tiny hamlet of Toluca. Sadly, this Americana small- town eatery is no more, but its spirit lives on in DUAL's mural. Bar Boheme, 307 Fairview St.,; DUAL via @ dual_streets, THE {WINDY} STREETS OF CDA MONTROSE DUAL with his mural Operation Happiness at Bar Boheme COURTESY THE ARTIST AND FOTO RELEVANCE (continued from page 72) Alan Montgomery's Sunrise Line, 2008, at Foto Relevance

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